Follow the 10% Rule when Increasing Mileage. Sometimes Less Running is Really More.

So, you like running and you want to start increasing mileage. Can you double up and get great right away? Well, no. Don't increase your distance ran dramatically because you will only end up hurt.

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A coach of mine would always say, "It's easy to beat a runner who isn't running." Kind of a foolish saying because it is obviously true. He meant this about not getting injured. Don't run yourself silly and end up on the sideline instead of crossing the finish line.

So what is the 10% rule? It is simple really. Once you reach a mileage total of 10+ or 15+ kilometers in a week, only increase your total 10% each week. If you get too excited and pile on more distance, your body will not cooperate.

For the poor souls out there that weren't paying attention in math class, just move the decimal over to find out what is the correct amount of distance you should increase by.
10 miles or km = 1.0 more per week.
25 miles or km = 2.5 more per week.
Simple, isn't it.

You should also make sure your running shoes are in good condition. You shouldn't put more than 500 miles on one pair of shoes.

You might know someone who has broken the 10% rule or ran on the same pair of shoes forever, and ended up fine, but why risk it. Slow and steady increases in mileage is always ideal. If you run 20 miles now, and want to double up, it will only take you about two months. That isn't that much time to wait.

If you are still burning up, do some cross training exercises. Swim, bike, take a yoga or pilates class. There is more out there that can help you with running than just racking up more miles.

One other thing to remember is quality will win over quantity every time. Don't add a lot of slow miles either. This only makes slow runners who can run far. Mix in some quality work where you run at least 1/4 of your miles at your 5k or 10k race pace. This way, you will get in better shape, and stay fast.

Remember, wanting to add more miles is a good problem. It means your motivated, but anyone can beat a great runner who isn't running the race. Follow the 10% rule for increasing mileage so you stay healthy.

- Written by David Tiefenthaler

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